Crime

Police: Big Coppitt man ran a chop shop from his house, charges are mounting

A Big Coppitt Key man is now facing a laundry list of charges for running what police call a chop shop from his home.

The mounting charges against Adrian Diaz, 18, include numerous counts of operating a chop shop, burglary, grand theft, fleeing and eluding police and assaulting police officers. Tuesday, he remained in the Stock Island jail on $58,000 bond.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says Diaz's operation started to crumble on Feb. 8 when Key West police asked the Sheriff's Office to pick up Diaz at his house on Verde Drive so he could be taken to jail on Key West charges of burglary, criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools.

Deputy Becky Herrin said he resisted being handcuffed, fought with officers and made threats toward them, so he was also charged with assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. He spent three days in jail and was released on Feb. 11.

While making the Feb. 8 arrest, Herrin said, officers saw numerous scooters and scooter parts in the yard, and several of the scooters turned out to be stolen. Warrants were obtained and Diaz was arrested again on Feb. 16, charged with two counts of grand theft auto and operating a chop shop. He was released from jail the following day.

Also back on Feb. 8, while at Diaz's home, officers saw two hover boards. Later that day, a Rockland Key woman reported two hover boards, seven spear guns and a charger for a go-cart stolen from house. Herrin said officers remembered seeing the hover boards at Diaz' place. They went back and found those and the spear guns.

On March 3, Herrin said, Key West police were following a Nissan Versa driven by Diaz. Police followed him to U.S. 1 and Roosevelt Boulevard and Diaz was headed north.

Deputy Anthony Hopp saw him and began to follow. After breaking lots of traffic laws after turning onto Cross Street on Stock Island, Diaz then headed north again. Hopp still followed but lost him at Key Haven. The car was later found in that neighborhood abandoned with six grams of cocaine inside, Herrin said.

March 6, Diaz was found at his home and arrested on all the warrants that had been issued.

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